Promoting Development through Sticker Play

As a mom of an energetic boy, I constantly look for activities that promote development while holding his attention and focus. I’ve made several quiet time boxes for times when I need a few minutes to shower, blog, or enjoy a cup of coffee. His sticker box has become an all-time favorite. He often chooses stickers over cartoons which limits his screen-time, an added bonus!

Stickers are naturally fascinating for children and a great way to promote development in many areas. They are inexpensive and come in many different sizes and textures. I’ve been able to find lots of different types of stickers in dollar stores, clearance sections of craft stores, and in bulk on amazon.

My son is obsessed with his Melissa & Doug Bundle of 3, Make-a-face Sticker Collection. He has spent hours finding and placing stickers on blank faces. He often asks to “read” his sticker book before bed which I love because it encourages his language development, an area we are actively working on.

Skill development through sticker play:

Motor Development

Peeling and placing stickers promotes fine motor development, especially in development of the pincer grasp, a skill needed to grip a pencil correctly.

Holding the sticker sheet with one hand while peeling the sticker with the other aids in the development of bilateral hand coordination, a skill needed to zip up a coat, cut with scissors, and write.

Social-Emotional Development

Stickers that feature different facial expressions help children recognize their own emotions. Learning what emotions you are feeling is the first step in developing self-control.

Toddlers love stickers and are highly motivated by then. Sticker charts are a great way to promote positive behaviors such as doing chores, taking a bath, or going to the potty.

Cognitive Development

Looking over a sticker sheet to find a particular sticker is great way to practice visual scanning.

Visual scanning is a skill you use to read and extract information quickly. In addition, it is useful when scanning crowds to find friends on the playground or in the cafeteria.

Language Development

Adults become accustomed to using the same words over and over. Stickers are available in tons of variations including themes, textures, and sizes. They are a great way to introduce new nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

Activity ideas for sticker play: 

  • Create a sensory experience by letting children explore different types of textures (fuzzy, scratchy, and puffy stickers) or smells (scratch and smell).
  • Promote body awareness by having your child peel and stick stickers to body parts you call out.
  • Promote development of muscles in the wrist by taping a sticker sheet to the wall and having your child peel off the stickers from a standing or sitting position.
  • Have your child peel and stick stickers to a large poster board. Tape the poster board to the wall and turn off the lights. Have your child use a flashlight to find different stickers you call out. Alternatively, have them name stickers they shine the light on.

What ideas do you have to promote development through sticker play? Please comment below!

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products I believe in.

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